So I wanted to create a better projects page. One that generates itself and generates every project page from some kind of input. Enter the world of Jekyll generators.
I first was a bit put off by the prospect of diving into ruby. But I really wanted a way to generate new project pages based on content and not handcraft each page. I also wanted to use markdown for this because It would then be similar to the posts.
So first I define a list of associative arrays in my main config that define my projects. These associative arrays contain a name, a markdown file and a thumbnail to be used on the main projects page. This is all information that I need to add in the config.
But then I need to generate the project page itself. This is where the Jekyll plug-in system comes into play. This is my project page generator.
module Jekyll class ProjectPage < Page def initialize(site, base, dir, project) @site = site @base = base @dir = dir @name = project['name'] + '.html' self.process(@name) self.read_yaml(File.join(base, '_layouts'), 'project.html') self.data['project_name'] = project['name'] self.data['file'] = project['file'] end end class ProjectGenerator < Generator safe true def generate(site) dir = site.config['projects_dir'] || 'Projects' site.config['projects'].each do |project| site.pages << ProjectPage.new(site, site.source, dir, project) end end end end
This creates the necessary html pages, but now I still need to be able to "include" files from my custom Project folder. So I created an liquid tag that does that.
module Jekyll class InputProjectTag < Liquid::Tag def initialize(tag_name, text, tokens) super @text = text; end def render(context) site = context.environments.first['site'] #set your project dir. dir = 'Projects' if defined? site.projects_dir dir = site.projects_dir end source = site['source'] #render the variable to the markdown filename content = Liquid::Template.parse(@text).render(context.environments.first) path = File.join(File.join(source, dir), content); input = IO.read(path.strip()) #render the markdown file with the variables of the project. return Liquid::Template.parse(input).render(context) end end end Liquid::Template.register_tag('include_project', Jekyll::InputProjectTag)
The only downside of this is that with Jekyll --watch new projects will not appear on the web page, It seems the global config file is not watched, or maybe its something entirely different. I will look into this later down the line but for now I just wanted to share these modules.